A roadmap is less useful if you don’t know where you are on it. Strategic coaching like other forms of coaching co-creates a way forward with the client, but one with a usable legend. Strategic coaching helps the client discover how to get unstuck and strive towards meaningful destinations and milestones in the broadest, fullest context. Like other coaching interventions, strategic coaching raises the client’s level of awareness while mustering energy and prompting action. Strategic coaching in the work setting like most executive coaching, is concerned with priorities, team building, leadership, motivation, feedback, realistic appraisal and core values. Unlike other approaches, strategic coaching fully anticipates inevitable breakdowns and their full impact.
This crucial emphasis in strategic coaching is where the difference between standard coaching and strategic coaching emerges. Standard or tactical coaching is what most clients seek to start a coaching relationship. Without a feel for the basic coaching model the key themes of action and awareness do not drive the conversation and little co-creation takes place. Often, unfortunately, a trial and error road zigzags from tactical to strategic outcomes, with the occasional magic flashing in the transformational spark of informal, unique, personal insight. Sadly, without strategic awareness, even that fades.
Since the essence of strategic thinking is, seeing the big picture in the moment: appreciating what’s working, targeting what’s not, the more direct journey is strategic from the outset. Life comes at us as complex and it’s easy to get caught in the weeds of that complexity. Easy, but frustrating and wasteful. Strategic coaches realize this diverse complex world derives from profoundly simple principles. Mastering your own sense of those basic principles is the best key to your best life.
However, articulating simple principles is only slightly useful. Elders can rattle them off, but the litany is usually ignored . Strategic principles need to be accessible and an organic part of how we perceive and interpret the world . Strategic coaching therefore concentrates on building the underlying insights that take us to that kind of vision. Foremost among these is that sense of where we are now: our personal GPS. How do we discover and grow that feeling?
At Praxis we’ve incorporated three basic tools to take the person (or team) to the transformational starting line:
- The first is quality of life inventory (QOLI),
- The second, strengths assessment and
- The third, individual meaning review.
These tools or clusters of tools (because there are choices, levels and follow-ups for all of them) provide an in depth view of where the client is at. They provide respectively, a sense of the where and how of the client’s strategic journey providing a wide angle overview as well as a high level meta-view of where the journey might feasibly go.
Bearings are not easy to keep in a complex unpredictable world. Periodic, sometimes continuous feedback is important. This is what strategic thinking delivers. The Praxis approach is to triangulate the client’s position using our three great common assets: intuition, perception and reasoning. Through our workshops and coaching we help the client or group recognize and hone these meta-views.